You won't believe this one... I don't!

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pwhatley, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Apr 23, 2008

    Not only was I promised that I would be assigned no new students (I'm a long term sub with a challenging first grade class), I was not asked before I received a "new" student today. It turns out he isn't quite new. He attended our school earlier this year (Aug. - Feb.), during which time he missed thirty-five (35) days!!! The new truancy officer somehow managed to get the absences not only excused, but wiped from his record! Sometime in February, he simply stopped coming to school -- no note, no withdrawal request, nothing. He was a student in another teacher's class then. Seems that they moved to Texas for a while, then wandered back here. Looks like he missed tons of days while in the lone star state as well. Not only did the truancy officer remove the absences (still documented by the teacher), she also promised the mother (in front of witnesses, no less) that he would have no problem getting into the second grade, since she would personally administer the first grade iLeap test (that we no longer use) to ensure it!

    I'm just a sub, so I am hesitant to complain (especially before I get my letters of recommendation), but the other three first grade teachers are up in arms about it. Technically, he should have returned to his original teacher's class, but apparently Mom didn't like that because the teacher called them on their BS. Another veteran teacher offered to take him, because she has the same number of students as I did at the time (18), but doesn't have the disciplinary / behavioral issues in her class that are present in mine (6 of 18 failing; 7 of 18 who can't ever manage to earn higher than a B in conduct, and are generally much worse -- imagine a first grader who earns ISS by kicking a girl in the face, and another one who earned after school detention because he refused to complete his work!).

    Anyway, this child is WAAAAAYYYYY behind, and there is no way he will pass (legally). Before I knew anything about him, I placed him at the table group with which I have the fewest problems, and whose members are some of my brightest and best. He came in about noon. By 1:00 he was striking me as weird. He kept popping up with strange, nonsensical comments about things that were about NOTHING we were doing? I have had to ask him as many as four times before he will return to his seat. Aaaaaggghhh

    I'm tired, and my brain hurts. There's a job fair on Saturday, so I get to dress up and go try to impress more principals. Oh, joy.:|
     
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  3. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Apr 23, 2008

    I think you need to have a serious chat with your admin about this. This isn't fair to you, the rest of the students in this class, and most importantly to the student himself.

    In the mean time, every time he gets up, bring him back to the table. If he asks a question that isn't relevant, tell him so (we're not talking about that right now, something like that). Come up with some phrase that you can repeat over and over again.

    Another thing to consider is the teacher you're replacing. If this work for you like they do here, then the grades don't go down under your name, they go down under hers. This could come back to haunt that teacher. Is there any way you can contact her and get her advise?

    Just random thoughts. I hope some of it helps.
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Apr 23, 2008

    I am wondering if the admin. knows that a new student was placed in your class. It may have been a secretary who decided to place the student in your class... I would go talk to the admin.(you could start off your conversation with "I would like to talk to you about the new student that i got yesterday..".), mention the testing that the truancy officer is planning on giving the student and document, document, document!
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 24, 2008

    I agree with Proud. Approach admin about it as if you don't care that you got a new student, but that you have some concerns about the testing coming up.

    I have a job fair Saturday too! Good luck!
     
  6. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2008

    Yikes, I agree with proud too. How much longer do you have as the LTS?
     
  7. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Apr 24, 2008

    I would agree with proud also, except for the fact that it was the Assistant Principal in charge of Curriculum (also the coordinator) who specifically placed him in my class! I am partly flattered that she would think I can handle this, but also worried that this child is being dumped. He is classified as homeless, so they allowed him to reregister without withdrawal papers from his other school. (He and mom actually live with granddad right now.) I honestly think he can do the work. No, he's not on any meds. Mom and stepdad believe that meds are bad, and that sugar causes schizophrenia. So not only is this kid basically a feral child, he can't have any treats either!

    We only have four more weeks of school left, after which I will not be paid, but can sleep late!

    I am praying that I get hired Saturday, and that my new principal will let me sign a contract at the end of this school year so that I can take advantage of the professional development courses that the School Board offers during the summer (and maybe even work on my classroom, lesson plans, materials, etc.).

    mmswm: In the mean time, every time he gets up, bring him back to the table. If he asks a question that isn't relevant, tell him so (we're not talking about that right now, something like that). Come up with some phrase that you can repeat over and over again.

    mm, I do that. Today was my first full day with him, and I sounded like a scratched record saying the same thing over and over. Two of my three worst behavioral "problems" were out of the class today, thanks to ISS, but I still found myself dropping conduct grades (even of some of my straight A students!), giving students time "on the wall" at recess, etc. I have been told that it is the end of the year syndrome, and that all of the kids are getting very "talky." I know that I am doing all I can, and am looking for different methods! The "let's talk about it" method isn't working, and neither is slamming the hammer down on them. Do you think I could find some liquid Valium? hehee
     
  8. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Apr 24, 2008

    You have my sympathies. In my experience (which isn't much), it usually takes a few days after a major change for a class to settle. Hopefully it'll be better by the middle of next week.
     
  9. Calliope

    Calliope Companion

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    Apr 24, 2008

    I find that prozac sprinkled cookies work well myself. :rolleyes:
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Apr 25, 2008

    Prozac's not strong enough for some days...what about xanax(sp?) laced fruit salad?
     
  11. debi

    debi Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2008

    Now I know what magic dust is!
     

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